Section Description Provided by Instructor
Alongside governments, companies are viewed both as a source of human rights abuse and as international actors with the capacity and resources to promote human rights. Over the last twenty years, human rights advocates have shined a spotlight on human rights conditions in transnational industries including oil and mining; the manufacturing of consumer goods; agricultural production for global markets; pharmaceuticals; and information and communication technology. The abuses at issue include complicity with governments that violate human rights, child and forced labor, limits on freedom of association, and dangerous and unhealthy conditions for workers and communities. During the same period, business and human rights has emerged as a distinct field within the broader corporate responsibility movement. In response to growing pressure to address human rights issues, transnational companies have undertaken human rights initiatives that seek to manage human rights risks, and in some cases, promote human rights as a source of competitive advantage in the marketplace. Human rights are now a concern of business, management and their advisors.
Drawing on industry case studies, legal proceedings, the work of international organizations, and a growing academic literature, this seminar analyzes the challenges and opportunities that arise for advocates and business managers at the intersection of business operations and efforts to promote international human rights.
Requirements and Grading
The course will meet once weekly for two hours. There will be assigned readings, class discussion and in-class exercises. Grading will be based on (i) class participation, including in-class group exercises; (ii) two short written assignments; and (iii) a seminar paper in the form of a legal memo to the CEO of a company facing human rights challenges.
To ensure that students will be exposed to a wide range of views and experience, the seminar may include guest participants. Representatives of multinational businesses, international organizations, human rights and other non-governmental organizations may be invited to join class sessions and contribute their special knowledge on the topics to be discussed.
The seminar is taught by Anthony Ewing (CLS ?95). An attorney and management consultant, Anthony counsels senior executives on corporate responsibility, crisis management and communication strategy.
As a partner at Logos Consulting Group, Anthony has advised clients in a range of industries, including healthcare, technology, financial services, energy and manufacturing. His corporate responsibility practice has helped companies and trade associations to engage stakeholders, define corporate human rights standards, and implement compliance programs and partnerships.
Anthony also advises nonprofit executives on strategic planning, board relations, and communication strategy. He has worked with the International Labour Organization, the Executive Office of the UN Global Compact, the World Conference of Religions for Peace, the International League for Human Rights, Physicians for Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and an international development organization in Central America. Anthony is a member of the UN Global Compact Human Rights Working Group.
Anthony Ewing holds a B.A. from Yale University and a law degree from Columbia University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review.
W 4:20p - 6:10p
Method of Evaluation
J.D. Writing Credit
Minor (upon consultation)
The seminar will be limited to eighteen participants. 3Ls and LLMs will have priority if the seminar is full.